The Literary Oscars

March 7, 2010 at 12:00 am 5 comments

Since the Oscars are tonight, I thought it would be fun to list the nominated films which have their basis in literature. In case you don’t know who to root for already, perhaps this list will point you in the right direction. (Although whether you root for the book-films or against them on principle is entirely up to you.) Personally, I was surprised how many nominees came from books!

Also, the LA Times’ book blog, Jacket Copy, has a nice little post summing up the truly literary Oscar nominees. But on to the nominees!

“Avatar” – Okay, not based on a book, but you could argue that John Smith’s memoirs helped this movie along a bit plot-wise.
Art direction
Cinematography
Directing
Film editing
Original score
Best picture
Sound editing
Sound mixing
Visual effects

“The Blind Side” – based on The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis.
Sandra Bullock – Performance by an actress in a leading role
Best picture

“Bright Star” – Not based on a book, but super-literary. It’s about Keats and his beloved Fanny.
Costume design

“Coraline” – Based on Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel of the same name. (Reviewed here at Literary Transgressions on January 27, 2010.)
Best animated feature film

“Crazy Heart” – Based on a book of the same name by Thomas Cobb.
Jeff Bridges – Performance by an actor in a leading role
Maggie Gyllenhaal – Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Original song – “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)”

“An Education” – Based on a book by Lynn Barber not yet available in the US.
Carey Mulligan – Performance by an actress in a leading role
Best picture
Adapted screenplay

“Fantastic Mr. Fox” – Based on a book by the same name by Roald Dahl.
Best animated feature film
Original score

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” – Based on J.K. Rowling’s book/series.
Cinematography

“Julie & Julia” – Based on TWO books! Whoa! You’ve got the wonderful My Life in France by Julia Child and Julie and Julia by Julie Powell.
Meryl Streep – Performance by an actress in a leading role

“The Last Station” – Based on a biographical novel of the same name by Jay Parini.
Christopher Plummer – Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Helen Mirren – Performance by an actress in a leading role

“The Lovely Bones” – Based on a book of the same name by Alice Sebold.
Stanley Tucci – Performance by an actor in a supporting role

“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” – Guess what? The full title of this one says it all.
Gabourey Sidibe – Performance by an actress in a leading role
Mo’Nique – Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Directing
Film editing
Best picture
Adapted screenplay

“The Princess and the Frog” – Not book-based perhaps, but definitely with a basis in folklore.
Best animated feature film
Original song – “Almost There”
Original song – “Down in New Orleans”

“Sherlock Holmes” – Based extremely loosely on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s series of books about this famous detective.
Art direction
Original score

“A Single Man” – Based on a novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood.
Colin Firth – Performance by an actor in a leading role

“Up in the Air” – Based on a novel of the same name by Walter Kirn.
George Clooney – Performance by an actor in a leading role
Vera Farmiga – Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Anna Kendrick – Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Directing
Best picture
Adapted screenplay

–Corey

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Rereadings: Revisiting Elizabeth Peters Weekly Geeks: What is it about “that” author?

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. KT  |  March 7, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Excellent run-down, thank you! I might have to check out the book version of “Up In The Air,” as I think it’s too late to see it in theaters, right?

    I would also argue that “Avatar” has roots in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, but it’s not quite as dark. It’s part of a tradition of colonialist literature, anyway.

    Reply
    • 2. Corey  |  March 8, 2010 at 6:05 am

      No problem! It was fun to write up, actually, and see what’s what. I think “Up in the Air” will probably be out on DVD soon, so perhaps you can catch it that way?

      Have you seen “Avatar”? I only know two people who have!

      Reply
  • 3. Jackson  |  March 8, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Just to let you know, An Education has in fact been published recently by Atlas & Co. in the US.

    Reply
    • 4. Corey  |  March 8, 2010 at 8:16 am

      Ah-ha, you’re quite right! I hadn’t been able to find it, but thanks for pointing this out.

      Reply
  • […] Last year, we made up a list of all the Academy Award nominees with a basis in literature (any remote basis, really). I had fun putting the post together and was surprised (although I’m not sure if pleasantly or not) at how many nominees had their roots in books. […]

    Reply

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